wrestling / Columns

The Mount Rushmore Of Terrible WrestleMania Endings

December 11, 2019 | Posted by Caliber Winfield
Hulk Hogan WrestleMania 9 LOL

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TERRIBLE WRESTLEMANIA ENDINGS

Greetings, my beautiful people.

This week, we take a look at the worst ways WrestleMania has ended, which, when I came up with the idea, I was surprised to realize just how God-awful some of these endings were, and on a show like WM, which is the last place you’d want a terrible ending. However, considering how many WM there have been, the average isn’t that bad.

For those of you who didn’t catch wind, I’ve started a new article series, From The Otherside of the Guardrail. Where I tell stories from my 25 years as a wrestling fan, and you guys chime in in the comment section. So far it’s a hit, and I’m glad, cause I dig hearing from you guys. So, if you haven’t checked it out yet, the first issue is out, and I talk about how I broke into the business, and my first year as a super-fan. In 1995.

Alright, enough shameless promotion, let’s get to business…

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Why It’s On The Mountain: As ridiculous as people think this moment is, and it is, it’s also awesome. No one saw this coming, and we still talk about it almost 30 years later. That said, it was complete bullshit. Yeah, Hogan was still over, I mean you definitely hear a mega-pop when he beats Yoko. However, Bret was clearly the future, and he was also very over. Bret had done well as a Champion, and while he certainly wasn’t a mega-draw in the states during his first run, the people were behind him and he had a lot of room to grow. However, the WWE didn’t really get too behind him, as this clearly shows.
Yoko was a monster, but I certainly don’t think people were dying to see him as champ, and I don’t think WrestleMania was the place to make that happen. I think having Yoko look super dominate here, but Bret eeks out a win, loses at King of the Ring, regains at SummerSlam, would have been a much better plan.
Instead, we had Bret lose in a lame-ass way, AFTER giving Yoko his best match ever, and then look like a bitch as Hogan has to come and defend him and the WWE, because Bret is incapacitated due to getting salt in his eyes. Are you kidding me? Not to mention that Hogan’s entire match didn’t even make sense in a kayfabe sense, as the bell never rang, and there was outside interference. Regardless, it was a memorable ending.

Bret Hart [C] vs Yokozuna – WWE Championship – WrestleMania IX
Believe it or not, this is my first time ever seeing this. As much as I dig Bret and his work, I am not a fan of Yokozuna, he’s just SO damn boring, although I do love his gimmick. Bret ain’t no bitch and immediately takes the fight to Yoko with a drop kick and punches before Yoko ends up sending him outside, where Bret uses the placement to wrap his foot in the ropes, so he falls over and gives Bret a chance to whoop on him. Doesn’t last for long, as Yoko reaches his feet and puts the hurt back on Bret. It’s funny, I became a fan in 1995, so I’m use to close to 700lb Yoko, and this version, I’m like “Dude is so skinny”. Macho is fantastic on commentary, putting Yoko over at his own expense, saying that Yoko is a force you can’t fuck with, he tried, and that’s why Yoko is wrestling for the strap and not him. I swear, after everything Yoko does he turns and bows to Fuj. Bret is able to topple Yoko, and goes for multiple pin attempts that just don’t yield any results. After smashing his head into an exposed turnbuckle, Bret puts him in the Sharpshooter, only for Fuj to throw salt in his eyes, giving Yoko the pin. Which annoys the shit out of me. Sure, it’d hurt, you couldn’t see, but how the hell would this knock you out?! He should have at least dropped the leg. Regardless, Yoko is the new champ for about 3 minutes, as Hogan comes out to protest, and ends up in a championship match.
Fuj goes for the salt again, except Hulkster ducks it, hits Fuji, nails Yoko with a clothesline and the Leg Drop, and snags the pin. Now, people can say this was stupid, but that crowd popped like fucking crazy. He was still pretty damn over. The Bret v Yoko portions were just fine, and easily Yoko’s best match, as it was all killer, no filler. There were no damn extended “nerve hold” spots, and was mostly Bret trying to whoop ass on the giant, and Yoko doing his best to say “Fuck off, kid”.
Yokozuna wins the WWE Championship for his first time after Bret gets salt in the eyes at 8:55 | **1/2

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Why It’s On The Mountain: Oh man. So, the Miz cashes in on Orton and gets the WWE Title. He’s then put in a main event match at WrestleMania with John Cena, the Hulk Hogan of the PG Era. Except, he wasn’t. The Rock came in to be the “Guest Host” of WrestleMania 27, and one of the first things he does is talk shit about John Cena, which the crowd absolutely loved. Right then, Miz was relegated to the backseat of his own feud, while Cena & The Rock gave the people what they wanted.
However, there’s a chance, Miz could go and tear it up with John and make them realize that they made a mistake not giving him the forefront, despite his wack gimmick, promo skills, and limited ability. And then no. Instead they went out there and had a ridiculously boring match, that no one gave a shit about, and they couldn’t even a decent finish. Instead it’s a double-count out, a restart, Rock puts down John, and Miz barely eeks out a win. Literally it was a bad TV-match that headlined the biggest show of the year, with a jobber champion. No bueno.

The Miz [C] vs John Cena – WWE Championship – WrestleMania 27
Miz gets a pretty dope video package before his entrance. I’m actually shocked that the Nas song “Hate Me Now” is still on the Network. John Cena gets a gospel choir singing him out after a DMX prayer video. It’s pretty weird, to be honest.
I just don’t like The Miz, especially during this era. His tights were stupid, his promos sucked, his catch phrase was literally what every 6 year old came up with when they create their wrestlers on No Mercy, or for you youngsters, Raw vs Smackdown. Not to mention he completely ripped off Jericho.
This match has no heat, the only person who gives a shit is the guy in the Cavs jersey in the front row. We can’t blame them, because The Miz was barely mid-card status at this point, no one gave a shit about him. Then here he is as the champion, but the entire feud for him & Cena was about The Rock vs Cena. He was a bit player in his own feud. Kayfabe wise, Miz would in no way be a challenge for John. It’s a very even match, with neither guy holding momentum for very long. It pisses me off that Miz uses the short-DDT as a transition move, because that’s a sweet, vicious move that could easily be a finisher. Man, I don’t know what submission is worse, Rock’s Sharpshooter or Cena’s STFU. He doesn’t even pull the person’s head back! He literally just puts his arms to the side of their head! We get a lot of gaga in the end, with Alex Riley interfering, weapons, and all that. They brawl to the outside, where Cena spears Miz off a barricade and they both get counted out. Man, you give us a weak-ass champion like The Miz, give us a boring-ass match, and a finish like that?! [que the Cornette face exploding into a ton of different wrestler gimmicks] So, The Rock has to come out and restart the match, as well as cut a promo, again, completely taking the focus from The Miz. The match restarts, and The Rock immediately delivers a Rock Bottom to Cena, giving Miz the chance to win. Seriously, The Rock hitting the Rock Bottom was the ONLY time in this entire match the crowd popped. Goddamn, they buried Miz so hard for his entire run. Made Jericho’s run look like Hogan in ’87.
The match was about as exciting as a Raw main event. There was zero heat, zero excitement, and a completely shit-finish. They used the entire build up of a WrestleMania main event, and the main event itself, to build for next year’s main event. Cripes.
Miz wins after The Rock hits a Rock Bottom on Cena at 19:51 | *1/2

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Why It’s On The Mountain: Man, when you think about WrestleMania 17, and all that happened around it, is just amazing. I mean, the Monday Night Wars were over, WCW & ECW fold at the exact same time as WWE puts on it’s greatest PPV of all time, headlined by the two-biggest stars of the era, and arguably of all time. It’s like a story everything worked out so well. Well, almost.
Look, I get Steve wanting to switch heel. But there’s so many things wrong with how he went about it. First off, if you switch heel to babyface, or babyface to heel, you HAVE to change your character. Otherwise, it’s just the same old shit. Austin needed to no longer swear, give the bird, drink beer, he needed to wear a suit, and a mirad of other things. Now, I understand him teaming with Vince because he “needed” to win the WWE Championship. Makes perfect sense, Vince has all the power and could make that happen. BUT HE DIDN’T DO ANYTHING! Literally, why the hell did he need Vince to swing a freaking chair?! It was so half-assed, and so just….man they clearly didn’t think this through.
Austin & Rock had an incredible, banger of a match, and it was just ruined with Vince’s involvement, Not because it was Vince, but because it was just so blah. It literally made zero sense, and no one gave a shit. They still cheered as if Austin was as babyface as ever. You literally get to the end of the biggest & best PPV they’ve ever done, and you trip before the finish line. You don’t just lose the race, but you tripped into generator that blew up and killed the entire arena of people.

The Rock [C] vs Stone Cold Steve Austin – WWE Championship – WrestleMania 17
Before I even get into the match, I want to make sure I mention my favorite part of this match. There’s a guy in the front row, bottom left hand of the hard-camera view, who has a sign that saying “wrestling figures . Com”. At one point security comes and takes his sign, minutes later he has another, and I swear to God, this goes on like 5 different times, it’s fucking hilarious.
Stone Cold attacks right off the bat, and they brawl to the outside before getting back in, and going big immediately. They waste no time building. 2 great spots soon after starting where they brawl to the outside, and Hebner admonishes The Rock, who then turns and backs Earl down, causing him to fall over the ring steps by accident, and The Rock just kicks him while he’s down, as if to say “And take this, ya fucker”. Right after, The Rock smashes Rocky with a ring-bell, and then looks at the time keeper who’s just standing there, and Stone Cold throws him. For absolutely no reason. I love it.
The crowd is so pro-Stone Cold that they cheer just about everything he does, and boos any time The Rock tries to mount a comeback.
They beat the living hell out of each other with bells, monitors, as both bleed buckets, and also annoy the piss out of me with rope breaks. It’s no DQ! Stop with the damn rope-breaks. I also hate how Hebner would do this “Stop! Stop using weapons! Knock it off!” crap during no-DQ matches, like this, or Shawn vs HHH at SummerSlam. Man, facial expressions are so underrated and a lost art these days. Austin has The Rock in the Million Dollar Dream, and Rock goes for the WrestleMania 7/Survivor Series 1996 finish with the bounce-off-the-turnbuckle pin move, and Austin barely kicks out. Afterwards, they get a close up, and you can see this expression of “woah, I almost screwed up royally”.
Ugh. Here comes Vince. Dammit. It’s at this point that The Rock has started to win the crowd over and they’re cheering him a lot more than they were. The Rock hits a People’s Elbow on Austin, and Vince pulls him off before the 3 count. Afterwards there’s a moment that I absolutely love, as we get a close up on the Rock’s face, and he’s dazed, until he realizes what just happens, and suddenly gets this pissed off look as he looks at McMahon and clear-as-day says “You motherfucker” and Vince gives his “Oh….SHIT” face. Absolutely brilliant. They do a ref bump, which annoyed me, because it’s completely unnecessary. They then make wrestling history, as Austin holds The Rock up, and McMahon smashes him with a steel chair. It’s easily the first time in history that has EVER worked. Great moment after Rock kicks out, where Austin goes on a massive expletive filled rant that they have to censor like crazy. A Stunner. Kick out. Another chair-shot. Kick out. Then Austin snaps and hits The Rock with a chair 16 freaking times to get the pin. This is why the fucking Rock was impossible to beat in the Smackdown games that followed.
An absolute masterpiece. They went fill-tilt from the very beginning, and never slowed down. Both men in their primes, absolutely trying to kill each other, and neither being able to do it. Everything about this match was done to absolute perfection, and is easily one of, if not the greatest WM main events ever.
Stone Cold wins the strap after hitting Rock with a chair 16 times at 28:08

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Why It’s On The Mountain: “CM Punk”, “Boring”, “Awful”, these are just a few of the chants you heard during this main event match up.
Seriously, what the FUCK were they thinking?! How did NO ONE, absolutely NO ONE speak up?! HOW?! We knew this was coming for like 6 months, and at no point did ANYONE care, nor did ANYONE want this. Reigns just wasn’t over the way they wanted, and we didn’t want to see him fight Brock again. We got it once, and it was great, but we sure as shit didn’t want it again. This wasn’t Austin vs Rock. This wasn’t Undertaker vs Shawn. This wasn’t something we wanted, or needed to see again. Especially since we all thought Reigns was going to win.
Sure enough, like ANYONE with a brain saw coming, ESPECIALLY after a 78 hour long show, the crowd absolutely shit all over this match and wanted nothing to do with it. Nothing. It was boring, it was heatless, and you just wanted it over, and over quickly.
Honestly, it was insulting. I feel like Vince was just vindictive with this. It was like he felt “Oh, you don’t want this? You don’t want the BIG DOG?! Well you’re gonna get it! AH HA HA!”. Not even Reigns bleeding buckets made people care. Hell, the only pop happened when Brock won, because we all thought Reigns was winning. This was just the worst way to end that WrestleMania.

Brock Lesnar [C] vs Roman Reigns – WWE Universal Championship
We start off with Roman going to Suplex City, yet he shakes it off and clobbers Lesnar with multiple Superman Punches. Brock comes back and starts launching Roman all around with Belly to Belly suplexes. Of course, Roman taps into Brock’s weakness: the ring-post. Seriously, has there been a Brock match not featuring Goldberg that didn’t feature someone getting the momentum after ramming Brock into a post? The crowd boos when both men get back in the ring and it’s not a double-count-out. The people wanted NOTHING to do with this match. It’s funny, before this match, I think it’d been like a year since anyone kicked out of an F5. It was very protected. When Reigns kicks out of the first one, it literally gets ZERO reaction. The crowd chants “boring” at one point, along with “this is awful”. Literally EVERYONE saw this result, of no one giving a shit, and no one wanting it. Lesnar is over, but Reigns was fucking death at this point. The match picks up after Lesnar busts open Reigns hardway style. It seems as if it was a planned hardway, as Lesnar was connecting like crazy. He bleeds a GUSHER. I mean, Lesnar is covered in it. They needed this blood much earlier. Reigns spears him a few times, and goes for a mega-spear, but Lesnar catches him and hits the F5, which the crowd MEGA pops for, because we all thought Reigns was taking it.
Lesnar hits Reigns with 754 F5’s for the pin at 15:55 | **

Any questions, comments, drunk-ramblings, feel free to send them my way, I always dig hearing from you, the beautiful people.

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